Today I bought all new underwear.
As I left Zambia to return to my homeland, I burned the underwear that I brought with me in order to save room for treasures and because it was time for us to part.
I stooped over bins filled with lovely panties, searching for the right color and size and shape in order to rebuild what I burned. These piles of fine clothes brought me back to the days when, under the hot African sun, I would dig through the piles of clothes on the sides of the road in order to find a new-used blouse or skirt.
Each time I blinked I could see myself in both worlds. In one, I was hot, uncomfortable, and my feet were dusted in red dirt that never seemed to leave my body. In the other, I was in air conditioning, standing, touching newly made garments, and incredibly clean.
I am in love with each of these worlds. And while I zoned out missing countless of panties that I would have been overjoyed to have found, I am so grateful that little hidden gateways into the world that I was once a part of can bring me back to the place that I so recently called home.
I know that I will have to rebuild my world here. It will be a process, with ups and downs like anything.
But, panties are a good way to begin.